Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Amit Gupta, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

You Are the Network | @CloudExpo #BigData #IoT #IIoT #M2M #API #DX #AI

To fully grasp our connectivity, we must look at the speed of life today

First there was the Stone Age. Then we learned how to manipulate and smelt metals, which led to an Agrarian age. From there, machines helped bring about the Industrial age, then the Space Age. So where are we now?

Shall We Call It the Network Age?
Metcalfe's Law holds that the value of a connected network, telecommunications in the parlance of his day, is proportional to the square of the number of connected users. Or stated more simply, the utility of a connected ‘thing' increases as more and more ‘things' are connected. The telephone acts as an easy example. One phone by itself is a paperweight, but one million connected to the same network is immeasurably powerful.

We live in a day of increasing connectivity. Think back to just a few years before the ubiquitousness of the Internet. How did we look up information? A phonebook for a phone number? An encyclopedia for random information? How did we we find more targeted information? How well did a movie perform on its opening weekend? Who won the academy award for best actress in 1980? What was the high temperature in Nagasaki yesterday? These questions required real research. Today, they require only a smart phone, tablet or any web-connected device. Even a smart watch will provide you with answers in milliseconds.

In short, the very nature of a thing changes with connectivity. A telephone isn't just a phone, it's a voice portal to millions of others. This applies to us as well. As people, we are changed as a result of our ready access to a near limitless supply of information, facts, anecdotes and dumb cat jokes. It's not just the availability of this information, it's how we live our lives knowing we have this access. Who hasn't been at a dinner, heard a song, and opened up Shazam to identify the music playing? Or googled a movie to remind us of the lead actor whose name we forgot?

I remember years ago, in the late '80s, working with a customer and arguing for the utility of networking their office PCs. At the time, each person had their own printer and files were moved from desk to desk via floppy. I failed in making my case and, I'll note, they were out of business a few short years later. I am not implying causality, but a company today that doesn't see the changes in the world around them will likely see a similar fate in their future.

No one of us can pretend to live, work, or play in isolation any longer. Whether we are a fisherman in southern China or an executive on Wall Street, we are connected to each other by virtue of our connections to technology. It is the age we live in. We cannot change that.

By extension, the isolationist aims of some politicians simply fail to recognize our world today. Nations have tried to shut down some Internet sites or censor access entirely. Most fail, while others have been overthrown. Remember the Arab Spring? In addition, this connectivity has brought about a profound change in many third world countries. To stop jobs from moving overseas one would have to shut down the Internet to prevent companies from using overseas labor, or cut satellite feeds, and transoceanic cables.

What we see with increasing regularity happening in many of these lands that embrace open access to information is an increase in education levels, standards of living, and a slow normalizing of costs. This connectivity has fundamentally shifted the balance of power in the world.

We can no more become isolationist than we can revert to a stone age society. Not one of us would stand for it.

Speed
To fully grasp our connectivity, we must look at the speed of life today. How long did it take someone to research an article, paper, or book 50 years ago? How long did it take to travel to Europe 100 years ago and at what cost? How much did a long distance call cost only a generation ago? Today, I can have a video call with someone anywhere on the globe instantly, and at an effective cost of zero. How has this changed us?

Speed has a profound effect on our lives - from expectations of traffic when traveling or commuting, to responsiveness of websites when shopping. Speed is an extension of convenience. Would you rather go to a mall to purchase a book today, or order one online from Amazon? Better yet, log on with your Kindle and have it instantly. One result of this shift, of course, is that retail bookstores, and ultimately as Amazon expanded its offerings, retailers in general, began to close their doors, and lately in increasing numbers.

Similarly, in years past, we chose where to live based on access to quality schools and jobs. Today, a growing number of people work remotely, while still more take advantage of online schooling. Speed has changed the retail landscape, where we choose to live and, by extension, changed our world.

At the same time, we always demand more speed. We are hardwired to be more efficient. To do more, in less time, with less effort. Build a bigger, wider, highway and more traffic will find it. Increase the speed of a network, more people will use it. Unsure about this? Try driving through traffic in LA or Toronto.

Power
These changes have negative consequences as well as positive ones. Napoleon realized the value of the third dimension when mounting his armies. He recognized that air superiority could win the day, and so he introduced artillery and other airborne weapons not yet seen by his rivals. Similarly, the United States leveraged the air to save the day in World War I. In the 20th century, nations battled nations, and the winner, while both carrying superior intelligence, numbers and power, was able to realize and take advantage of a world not yet recognized by their enemies.

Today, the nature of power has shifted, and world leaders face an ugly future if they fail to see it. So too must business leaders recognize this paradigm shift in the world and, by extension, in their customers. Amazon killed far larger retailers with their business model. Apple's iTunes fundamentally changed the music industry, while Netflix forced the shuttering of Blockbuster stores and helped change how we consume media. The common theme is seeing a different future brought about by connection. The power is in the network, and those leaders who understand and leverage this, will rule the future.

Sadly, the ugly side of this is that many terrorist networks have figured out how to leverage networks and connectivity before many of our traditional world leaders. Just as military strength ruled the day in the previous century, network power and understanding it will rule tomorrow's world.

Value
At the same time, we must also recognize we are the sum of our connections. As the network grows, so grows our value. The tide is rising and so to do all the ships. Each additional point or connection to us, no matter how remote or small, increases the overall value of us and our collective networks.

Conclusion
As we look to the future, we must understand this is more than another ‘paradigm shift' in our society. This amounts to a redistribution of power in ways heretofore unknown in human experience.

In days gone by, power was concentrated among the few. Military leaders, the clergy, and wealthy merchants controlled most of the world's power up until the 17th century. The Industrial Age saw power slowly redistributing as capitalism took hold, and led to the rise of the middle class.

Today, however, networks both concentrate power among those who control networks, while also distributing it to users. More power has been placed in the hands of ‘everyman' than ever before. Think about the supercomputer most of us carry in our pockets and purses everywhere we go.

Networks are also made up of many complicated pieces. Routers, servers and switches make up the technical backbone. These are complicated items, but predictable and understandable. Together, they make up a complex system. Complex things, on the other hand, are randomized and unpredictable. A car is complicated, but predictable (at least to some extent). Traffic, however, is complex. Both have complicated pieces, but complex things are more unpredictable, like the weather, ocean currents, or storms.

In addition, complex systems lead to the creation of things previously unfathomable. Think about Linked in, Facebook or Snapchat as contemporary examples. Without their network of users, they are single web pages. They are nothing. Similarly, Uber, Airbnb, and other examples have led to the creation of new systems previously unimaginable. These networks have also arisen with remarkable speed, and created immense riches for their founders.

Sadly, terrorist groups have also formed upon these network backbones. ISIS emerged from this complexity. This process of creation of the unimaginable is only just accelerating.

At their core, networks contain enormous power. To control such a system is arguably to control anyone connected to it, or at least to dramatically influence those users, or connections. Think about when we search for information. When we do a Google search, do we trust the results implicitly, or second guess them?

Today's networks are increasingly led by a young, technically savvy group of technorati with limited experience with our world history, its politics or philosophy. Yet our world is led by a group of leaders with no experience with these new networks. Think about this market contrast between those running technology companies and those running countries. We cannot go back, we can only look forward.

To quote Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Seventh Sense, who does a wonderful job of summarizing this new world order: "One thing is clear. If we are going to play a role in shaping our world. We don't have much time."

And remember, you are the network.

More Stories By Chuck Fried

Chuck Fried is the President and CEO of TxMQ, a consulting company which works with mid market up through global 2000 companies to help them understand these new realities. He is also a father of 10, grandfather of one, husband of 31 years, and a wildly mediocre triathlete. He can be reached at [email protected]
Blog - Twitter - LinkedIn

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
First generation hyperconverged solutions have taken the data center by storm, rapidly proliferating in pockets everywhere to provide further consolidation of floor space and workloads. These first generation solutions are not without challenges, however. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Wes Talbert, a Principal Architect and results-driven enterprise sales leader at NetApp, will discuss how the HCI solution of tomorrow will integrate with the public cloud to deliver a quality hybrid cloud e...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous a...
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, will provide a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. Together we will solve a machine learning problem and find an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intellige...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...